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Halverson CC, Scott Tilley D. Nurs Forum. 2022;57:454-460.
Nursing surveillance is an intervention for maintaining patient safety and preventing patient deterioration. This review builds on the earlier nursing surveillance concept to reflect technological advancements, such as early warning systems, since the intervention was first proposed. Attributes (e.g., systematic processes and coordinated communication) and antecedents (e.g., sufficient nurse education and staffing) associated with nursing surveillance are described, along with a presentation of cases to illustrate the concept.

This WebM&M describes two incidences of the incorrect patient being transported from the Emergency Department (ED) to other parts of the hospital for tests or procedures. In one case, the wrong patient was identified before undergoing an unnecessary procedure; in the second case, the wrong patient received an unnecessary chest x-ray. The commentary highlights the consequences of patient transport errors and strategies to enhance the safety of patient transport and prevent transport-related errors.

Lee EH, Pitts S, Pignataro S, et al. Clin Teach. 2022;19:71-78.
The inherent power imbalance between supervisors and new clinicians may inhibit new clinicians from asking questions or reporting mistakes. This lack of psychological safety can result in patient harm and restrict learning. This article provides strategies for healthcare educators and leaders to model and guide a safer organization. Three phases of the supervisor-learner relationship, along with suggested prompts, are provided.
Ulmer FF, Lutz AM, Müller F, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e573-e579.
Closed-loop communication is essential to effective teamwork, particularly during complex or high-intensity clinical scenarios. This study found that participation in a one-day simulation team training for pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses led to significant improvements in closed-loop communication in real-life clinical situations.
Díez R, Cadenas R, Susperregui J, et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:4313.
Older adults living in nursing homes are at increased risk of polypharmacy and its associated adverse outcomes, such as drug-drug interactions. The medication records of 222 older adult residents of one Spanish nursing home were screened for potential drug-drug adverse events. Nearly all included residents were taking at least one potentially inappropriate medication, and drug-drug interactions were common.
Fischer SH, Shih RA, McMullen TL, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2022;70:1047-1056.
Medication reconciliation (MR) occurs during transitions of care and is the process of reviewing a patient’s medication list and comparing it with the regimen being considered for the new setting of care. This study developed and tested standardized assessment data elements (SADE) for reconciliation of high-risk medications in post-acute care settings. The final set included seven elements; results demonstrate feasibility and moderate to strong reliability. The resulting seven data elements may provide the means for post-acute care settings to assess and improve this important quality process. 
Patel SJ, Ipsaro A, Brady PW. Hosp Pediatr. 2022;Epub Feb 28.
Diagnostic uncertainty can arise in complex clinical scenarios. This qualitative study explored how physicians in pediatric emergency and inpatient settings mitigate diagnostic uncertainty. Participants discussed common mitigation strategies, such as employing a “diagnostic pause.” The authors also noted outstanding gaps regarding communicating diagnostic uncertainty to families.
Uitvlugt EB, Heer SE, van den Bemt BJF, et al. Res Soc Admin Pharm. 2022;18:2651-2658.
Pharmacists play a critical role in medication safety during transitions of care. This multi-center study found that a transitional pharmacy care program (including teach-back, pharmacy discharge letter, home visit by community pharmacist, and medication reconciliation by both the community and hospital pharmacist) did not decrease the proportion of patients with adverse drug events (ADE) after hospital discharge. The authors discuss several possible explanations as to why the intervention did not impact ADEs and suggest that a process evaluation is needed to explore ways in which a transitional pharmacy care program could reduce ADEs.
El Abd A, Schwab C, Clementz A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:230-236.
Older adults are at high risk for 30-day unplanned hospital readmission. This study identified patient-level risk factors among patients 75 years or older who were initially hospitalized for fall-related injuries. Risk factors included being a male, abnormal concentration of C-reactive protein, and anemia. Discharge programs targeting these patients could reduce 30-day unplanned readmissions.
Olsen SL, Søreide E, Hansen BS. J Patient Saf. 2022;Epub Apr 4.
Rapid response systems (RRS) are widely used to identify signs of rapid deterioration among hospitalized patients.  Using in situ simulation, researchers identified obstacles to effective RRS execution, including inconsistent education and documentation, lack of interpersonal trust, and low psychological safety.
Fitzgerald KM, Banerjee TR, Starmer AJ, et al. Pediatr Qual Saf. 2022;7:e539.
I-PASS is a structured handoff tool designed to improve communication between teams at change-of-shift or between care settings. This children’s hospital implemented an I-PASS program to improve communication between attending physicians and safety culture. One year after the program was introduced, all observed handoffs included all five elements of I-PASS and the duration of handoff did not change. Additionally, the “handoff and transition score” on the Agency for Healthcare Quality (AHRQ) Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture improved.
Derksen C, Kötting L, Keller FM, et al. Front Psychol. 2022;13:771626.
Effective communication and teamwork are fundamental to ensure safe patient care. Building on their earlier systematic review of communication interventions in obstetric care, researchers developed and implemented a training to improve communication at two obstetric hospitals. While results did not show a change in communication behavior, perceived patient safety did improve. Additional resources are available in the curated library on maternal safety.

Studies show that home visits to patients recently discharged from the hospital can help prevent unnecessary readmission.1 Providing continuing care instructions to patients in their homes—where they may be less overwhelmed than in the hospital—may also be a key mechanism for preventing readmission.2 Home visit clinicians and technicians can note any health concerns in the home environment and help patients understand their care plan in the context of that environment.2

Building on prior studies, a team at the Cleveland Clinic Health System (CCHS) implemented a home visit program, called High Risk Transitions in Care (HRTIC), with the goal of reducing 30-day hospital readmissions for discharged patients at high risk for readmission.2 The program aimed to leverage the scope of practice of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) along with acute care skills offered by paramedics.

The innovation evolved in two phases. In the first phase, the CCHS team experimented with a model that offered three home visits provided by either APRNs or paramedics in the first four weeks following discharge. After five months in Phase 1, the CCHS team found no significant difference in readmission rates for the participating population when compared with a matched cohort.2 In Phase 2, CCHS adapted the innovation by delivering a total of four home visits to referred patients within 30 days of discharge. APRNs provided the first post-discharge home visit, and paramedics, in coordination with the APRN and the patient’s larger care team, often provided subsequent home visits.2 After six months, the home visit program was associated with about 10% fewer readmissions when compared with a matched cohort.2

Beyond the additional home visit, the CCHS team believes that a key reason that the Phase 2 results were encouraging was that the patients received care from both types of providers, receiving both the APRNs’ skill as independent practitioners to diagnose and treat illnesses and the paramedics’ rapid response capabilities and acute care experience.

To evaluate the longer-term effects of the HRTIC program, the CCHS team compared readmission rates 60 and 90 days after hospital discharge for the Phase 2 group with those of a matched comparison group. Readmission rates did not differ between the two groups, indicating a potential need to extend visits beyond four weeks to sustain outcomes.2

Factors that contribute to sustaining a successful program, according to the CCHS team, include a centralized referral system that utilizes an administrative team to schedule the home visits. The team said the innovation requires flexible criteria for identifying high-risk patients in case the criteria need to be adjusted because the program does not have the capacity to serve the existing volume of referred patients. In the future, the CCHS team would like to explore the reasons patients decline home visit programs and strategies for increasing patient participation.

Patterson ME, Bollinger S, Coleman C, et al. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2022;18:2830-2836.
Medication errors are common among older adults discharged to long-term care facilities. Researchers reviewed medication discrepancy data from four long-term care facilities over a 9-month period and found that nearly 41% of newly admitted or re-admitted residents had at least one medication discrepancy discovered at nursing home intake. Residents who were prescribed 14 or more medications and those with certain comorbidities (e.g., heart failure, anemia, hypertension) were at greatest risk for discrepancies. Higher discrepancies occurred with respiratory and analgesic medications, underscoring the importance of medication reconciliation for residents with respiratory conditions or pain.
Humphrey KE, Sundberg M, Milliren CE, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:130-137.
Poor provider-provider and provider-patient communication can result in significant morbidity and mortality to patients and play a role in malpractice claims. 498 closed malpractice claims were reviewed, with communication failures identified in nearly half. Of the communication errors that involved a failed handoff (47%), the majority could have potentially been prevented with a structured handoff tool. 

Lane S, Gross M, Arzola C, et al. Can J Anaesth. Epub 2022 Mar 22.

Intraoperative anesthesia handovers can increase patient safety risks. Based on video-recorded handovers and anesthetic records, researchers at this tertiary care center found that introduction of an intraoperative handover checklist improved handover completeness, which may decrease risk for adverse events.

This Spotlight Case describes an older man incidentally diagnosed with prostate cancer, with metastases to the bone. He was seen in clinic one month after that discharge, without family present, and scheduled for outpatient biopsy. He showed up to the biopsy without adequate preparation and so it was rescheduled. He did not show up to the following four oncology appointments.

Vollam S, Gustafson O, Morgan L, et al. Crit Care Med. 2022;Epub Mar 7.
This mixed-method study explored the reasons why out-of-hours discharges from the ICU to the ward, and nighttime coverage are associated with poor outcomes. Based on qualitative interviews with patients, family members, and staff involved in the ICU discharge process, this study found that out-of-hours discharges are considered unsafe due to nighttime staffing levels and skill mix. Out-of-hours discharges often occurred prematurely, without adequate handovers, and involved patients who were not physiologically stable, and at risk for clinical deterioration.
Mahomedradja RF, van den Beukel TO, van den Bos M, et al. BMC Emerg Med. 2022;22:35.
The potential for medication errors may increase due to redeployment and reorganization of hospital resources during COVID-19 surges. In this study of patients hospitalized during the first wave of the pandemic, over 90% had at least one prescribing error three months after hospitalization. Intensive care unit admission and a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma were risk factors for prescribing errors. Acknowledging and understanding these risk factors allows hospital leadership to target interventions for this population.
Latimer S, Hewitt J, de Wet C, et al. J Clin Nurs. 2022;Epub Mar 6.
Medication reconciliation at hospital discharge has become a mainstay of patient safety efforts with most of the focus on pharmacist involvement. Focus groups of hospital nurses were conducted to elicit their perspectives on their role in medication reconciliation. Three themes emerged: nurses' role involves chasing, checking, and educating; burden of undertaking medication reconciliation at hospital discharge; team collaboration and communication in medication reconciliation.